News / Europe

Ukraine Complains No Help From Europe in Russia Gas Dispute

Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
x
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovich addresses delegates during the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 24, 2013.
Reuters
Ukraine complained on Wednesday that it had received little or no support from European countries in its face-off with Russia over the price of its gas imports and a $7 billion Russian bill.

The dispute dramatically escalated last month when Russia's gas giant Gazprom sent the bill to Kiev to cover gas it says Ukraine was under contract to buy last year, but never took.

Though Ukraine's ties with the European Union are equally strained, President Viktor Yanukovich indicated on Wednesday he had all the same been seeking support from Europe in the confrontation with Russia.

Ukraine relies heavily on Russian gas to heat homes and fuel the industrial sector. Kiev says the current gas supply deal that was negotiated in 2009, however, sets an exorbitant price for the fuel at $430 per thousand cubic metres in the current quarter.

The Kiev government, in months of negotiations, has failed to persuade Moscow to lower the price. Russia has said that a price reduction is in the cards only if Ukraine joins a Russia-led Customs Union or relinquishes control of its gas pipeline network system.

Gas pricing disputes between Kiev and Moscow came to world attention in January 2006 when supplies to western European customers were halted. A dispute over gas prices - Ukraine then paid just $50 per 1,000 cubic metres and Russia's Gazprom wanted to charge $230 - was complicated by accusations of corruption in the energy sector from then Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko.

"In the past three years we have had no support, even sympathy in the issues of the gas force majeure relations Ukraine has had,'' Yanukovich told a news conference after meeting Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite.

"When Russia presented us with a bill of $7 billion in penalties we hoped that we would get some comments on this from the European Energy Community,'' he added, referring to a cooperation body for EU and neighbor non-EU states.

"We repeatedly sent letters about this to the European Energy Community. Not once did we get a reply and this is a problem,'' he said.

Ukraine and the 27-member bloc have initialed a blueprint for political association and free trade to set Ukraine on a course for integration into the European mainstream.

The EU is at odds with Yanukovich over the imprisonment of opposition leader Yulia Tymoshenko, though, and is refusing to take relations further and sign the agreement.

Tymoshenko is serving a seven-year jail sentence for abuse-of-office meted out in October 2011 after a trial that the West said smacked of selective justice by the Yanukovich leadership.

The EU and Ukraine are due to hold a summit on February 25 when Kiev wants to resurrect the deals that have been put onto the back burner.

You May Like

EU Court Fines Poland for Hosting CIA 'Black Sites'

Ruling is first time a court has acknowledged suspects were held and tortured at the sites, under US program launched following the 9/11 terrorist attacks More

Migrant Issues Close to Home Spur Groups to Take Action

Groups placing water, food in the desert, or aiding detainees after release, have one common goal: no more deaths of migrants crossing illegally into the US More

Video At AIDS Conference, Prevention Pill Stirs Excitement

Truveda shows promise, spurring debate over access and other approaches More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debatei
X
Shelley Schlender
July 24, 2014 6:43 PM
In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Treatment for Childhood Epilepsy Heats up Medical Marijuana Debate

In the United States, marijuana is classed as an illegal drug by the federal government. But nearly half the states have legalized it, to some degree. Proponents say some strains of marijuana might have exceptional health benefits, for treating pain or inflammation in chronic conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and epilepsy. Shelley Schlender reports on a strain of medical marijuana developed in Colorado that is reputed to reduce seizures in childhood epilepsy
Video

Video Airbus Adds Metal 3D Printed Parts to New Jets

By the end of this year, European aircraft manufacturing consortium Airbus plans to deliver the first of its new, extra-wide-body passenger jets, the A350-XWB. Among other technological innovations, the new plane will also incorporate metal parts made in a 3-D printer. VOA's George Putic has more.
Video

Video Death Toll From Israel-Gaza Conflict Surpasses 700

Gaza officials say a shelling hit a compound housing a United Nations-run school in the Gaza Strip, killing more than a dozen people, during an Israeli offensive in the area. Heavy fighting between the Israeli military and Hamas militants continued on Thursday, pushing up the death toll. So far, more than 730 Palestinians and 35 Israelis have been killed in the conflict. VOA's Scott Bobb has the latest from Jerusalem.
Video

Video AIDS Conference Welcomes Exciting Developments in HIV Treatment, Prevention

Significant strides have been made in recent years toward the treatment and prevention of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. This year, at the International AIDS Conference, the AIDS community welcomed progress on a new pill that may prevent transmission of the deadly virus. VOA’s Anita Powell reports from Melbourne, Australia.
Video

Video Israel Targets Gaza Supply Tunnels

The Israeli military has launched a ground operation in Gaza to destroy the myriad tunnels that may have been used to smuggle weapons to Hamas. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports that could mean more hardship for the people of Gaza, who obtain some of their essential supplies through these underground passages
Video

Video Researchers Target Low-Cost Avatar Technology

Scientists at the University of Southern California Institute for Creative Technologies say 3-dimensional representations could revolutionize social media. Elizabeth Lee has more from Los Angeles.
Video

Video IAEA: Iran Turns its Enriched Uranium Into Less Harmful Form

Iran has converted its stockpiles of enriched uranium into a less dangerous form that is more difficult to use for nuclear weapons, according to the United Nations’ Atomic Energy Agency. The move complies with an interim deal reached with Western powers on Iran's nuclear program last year, in exchange for easing of sanctions. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London.
Video

Video In Cambodia, HIV Diagnosis Brings Deadly Shame

Although HIV/AIDS is now a treatable condition, a positive diagnosis is still a life altering experience. In Cambodia, people living with HIV are often disowned by friends, family and the community. This humiliation can be unbearable. We bring you one Cambodian woman’s struggle to overcome a life tragedy and her own HIV positive diagnosis.

AppleAndroid